With the election more than a year away, unannounced mayoral candidate Zev Yaroslavsky has already amassed more than $800,000 for his expected bid against four-term incumbent Tom Bradley, campaign statements showed Tuesday.
Yaroslavsky's campaign treasury overshadows Bradley's by a quarter of a million dollars, the statements show. The mayor actually raised more money than Yaroslavsky between July 1 and Dec. 31, 1987, but used some of it to help retire the campaign debt from his unsuccessful 1986 bid to unseat Gov. George Deukmejian.
Most Money Spent
Other campaign reports on file in the city clerk's office show that the fledgling recall effort against City Councilman Robert Farrell spent by the end of 1987 virtually all of the more than $14,000 it had raised. Recall proponents have until April 21 to file 12,550 valid signatures if they are to force Farrell to defend his seat in a special election.
The pro-recall campaign statement raised eyebrows at City Hall Tuesday with the disclosure that Councilman Richard Alatorre's chief deputy, Robin Kramer, has contributed $250 to the Farrell ouster campaign. The statement also showed that Los Angeles attorney Winston Kevin McKesson, an associate in the law firm of Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., also has aided the recall drive with $225 in contributions. Cochran is Farrell's attorney.
At year's end, Farrell also had virtually no campaign funds in either of two accounts he established to defeat the recall. Campaign statements showed he had spent about $53,000 raised over the past six months against the move to unseat him.
While both sides of the Farrell recall drama are low on funds, the race for mayor has been flush with cash. And, with more than 15 months before the 1989 primary, every indication is that the mayoral contest could become a record-setting campaign.
Signs of Success
The mayor has always been a successful fund-raiser, and the last six months of 1987 were no exception. Between cash raised to pay off his 1986 gubernatorial campaign debt and cash collected for his reelection bid, Bradley funneled more than $786,000 into his political treasuries. He received another $218,050 in loans during the same period.
During 1987, Bradley lopped off more than $1 million from the campaign deficit, leaving about $138,000 remaining to be repaid, the campaign statements showed. Bradley's gubernatorial debt reduction effort was helped greatly by his ability to solicit large contributions without worrying whether they exceeded a $1,000 ceiling set in 1985 on citywide races.
As for his bid to become Los Angeles' first-ever five-term mayor, Bradley during the six-month period outraised his younger rival by nearly $170,000. From July 1 to Dec. 31, Bradley collected $579,767 to Yaroslavsky's $411,865, campaign statements showed.
But Yaroslavsky, who early last year began raising money for a possible mayoral campaign on an "exploratory" basis, had $801,726 in cash as of Dec. 31 compared to Bradley's $552,314.
The 5th District councilman is widely expected to challenge Bradley in the April, 1989, primary although he recently said he will make no formal announcement about his plans until later in the year.
But Yaroslavsky's campaign statements strongly suggest that he will run and in the process give up the Westside council seat he has held since July, 1975.
In the last six months, 38%, or 268, of Yaroslavsky's contributors each gave him the maximum $1,000 campaign gift. In all, the councilman received an average $589.09 in cash from the 692 contributors who gave him at least $100 each. If he does not run for mayor, Yaroslavsky would be unable to use the $1,000 cash gifts.
By contrast, Bradley's mayoral bid received 345 contributions of $1,000 each, and an average of $577.18 in cash from 882 contributors who each gave at least $100.
MAYORAL CAMPAIGN FUNDS
Here is a comparison of Bradley and Yaroslavsky fund-raising efforts for the last six months of 1987:
Started with Raised Spent Cash on hand* Bradley $124,424 $579,767 $197,094 $552,314 Yaroslavsky $447,998 $411,865 $45,241 $801,726
*Includes interest earned